The zombie has not only infected film and literature, but can also be found lurking in unexpected areas of popular culture. This chapter examines the relationship between psychobilly subculture and zombie mythology. The focus here is on the inception and early development of psychobilly in the 1980s as a means of expression and identity for the disaffected and culturally isolated youth, in an emerging conservative capitalist society, acting as a challenge to dominant ideological discourses. The psychobilly resists the powerful through an illusory celebration of death, adopting practices associated with the Danse Macabre, carnivalesque and fabulation. As Scholes (in Arva, 2008: 67) argues, in keeping with our ‘Cosmic Imagination … [we can] … live as comfortably as any character in fiction’. He further posits, ‘We must see man as himself imagined and being re-imagined, and now able to play a role in the re-imagination of himself.’ The zombie is one of the few cultural metaphors that can be linked directly to fan culture and its influences as opposed to those of the media. It can be used to describe a world after the apocalypse and, unlike other mythical monsters, it has no overriding narrative set out in literature. The psychobilly operates in a world full of reimagining and redefining what it means to be human through subcultural practices.
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- Rocking with the Undead: How Zombies Infected the Psychobilly Subculture
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